Tony Kelly, Tarzan Boy Darren and Steve Fury organised the year's first British Professional Wrestlers' Reunion in the Leeds area, this time at The Oulton Institute.

The change of venue proved to be a great success, with everyone agreeing the hall provided an ideal location for the afternoon's celebration of the 'glory days' of British Professional Wrestling. The event was a chance for wrestlers, their families and invited guests to meet over a few drinks, and a buffet in a relaxed atmosphere. Posters adorned the walls, giving the wrestlers plenty of opportunity for banter about their top-of-the-bill status, and to recall opponents and venues which had slipped their minds for so many years.

A welcome innovation this year was the awards ceremony, where wrestlers stepped up to receive certificates confirming that colleagues had voted them "The Dream Worker" or "Hard as Nails", to name but two of the accolades.

Thanks to Al Tarzo for sending this report from the Yorkshire Evening Post, published on Thursday 10th March 2011:

The hair was a touch greyer, the waistlines a little thicker and there wasn’t a leotard in sight. But TV viewers with long memories would still have recognised some familiar faces if they had swung by a reunion event held in Leeds. It brought together a host of stars from the British wrestling scene of the 1960s and 70s, when the grapple game regularly drew Saturday afternoon audiences of 10 million to ITV’s World Of Sport show.

Peter Preston, Johnny Saint and Tony ‘Banger’ Walsh were just three of the heroes of yesteryear who gathered for the bash at Oulton Institute. And the camaraderie among the event’s 100 or so guests was plain to see as anecdotes and banter flew back and forth across the building’s main hall. Peter, the first man to beat Mick McManus on television but now a 72-year-old great-grandfather living in Birkenshaw, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It’s nice to see some old friends you haven’t seen for years. “There’s people here I haven’t met up with for 15 or 20 years. We’ve got a lot of shared memories and stories.”

The celebratory mood was heightened by an awards ceremony where the categories included best villain and best travelling companion. There was sadness too, however, as the names of recently-deceased fighters like Vic Stewart and Paul Lincoln were read out. The nostalgia factor, meanwhile, was ramped up thanks to the decoration of the venue with vintage wrestling posters. They promoted grunt ’n’ groan bouts featuring the likes of Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks and Kendo Nagasaki in no-frills settings such as Hull’s Madeley Street Baths and Leeds’s now-demolished Queens Hall. One from the 1960s even trumpeted a Queens Hall battle between Ricki Starr and a pre-knighthood Jimmy Savile. At that time Sir Jimmy was combining his showbiz career with a sideline as a pro wrestler and was billed on the poster as “teenage idol and top DJ”.

The reunion’s organisers included Darren Ward, who had a ring career as ‘Tarzan Boy’ until he was forced into retirement by a car crash. Asked about the current preference among his sport’s fans for the razzmatazz of its American version, 45-year-old Darren, from Woodlesford, said: “The British scene has gone to virtually nothing, which is really sad. “It’s pretty unbelievable when you think about it, getting 10 million viewers on a Saturday afternoon. They’d be happy with that in prime time now.” Manchester’s Johnny Saint – real name John Miller – perhaps put it best, though, when he mused on the domestic scene’s faded glory and said: “I don’t see it making a comeback. Everything moves on – although not always for the better.”

You can read another report with pictures at the excellent Wrestling Heritage website.


1. Colin Joynson, Dave Taylor, Klondyke Kate, "Tarzan Boy" Darren Ward, Marty Jones, Skull Murphy.
2. Dave Bedford, Dave Kaye.    3. Peter Preston, John Cox, Colin Joynson.
4. John Kenny, Johnny Saint, Tony "Banger" Walsh.

1. Promoter, Don Robinson.    2. Colin Joynson reads out the obituaries.
3. "Tarzan Boy" Darren gets the proceedings underway.    4. Johnny Angel.

1. Drew McDonald, Jackie Turpin.    2. Johnny South, Eddie Hammil, Keith Martinelli.
3. "Kung Fu" Eddie Hammil amongst the memorabilia and raffle prizes.
4. Skull Murphy, Johnny South.    5. Keith Martinelli, Marty Jones.    6. Keith Martinelli.
7. Peter Preston, John Cox, Colin Joynson.    8. Johnny South, Dave Taylor.

Thanks to "Kung Fu" Eddie Hamill for the above eight photographs

Harry Monk with:
1. "Little Prince".
2. Keith Williams (aka Kung Fu Williams / Keith McGuigan / Masked Baron).
3. Klondyke Kate, Sam Betts.    4. Bob Sweeney.    5. Al Marshall.

Thanks to Harry Monk for the above five photographs

1. Dick Harrison, Mal Mason.
2. Eddie Hammil, Rex Strong, Gil Singh.    3. Al Marshall.

The Award Certificates. Thanks to Alan ("Hack") from the Wrestling Heritage site for the above nine photos.


Thanks to John White for sending in his photographs (numbered 300 to 311), which have been mixed here with my own pictures of the presentation of the awards.


Sam Betts (Dwight J. Ingleburgh) receives the "On The Road Award for a great travelling companion" from John Kenny on behalf of the late "Pedro the Gypsy".

John Cox presents the "Dream Worker Award for an easy to work with wrestler" to Roy St.Clair, before Mal Mason steps up to present him with a photograph of his father, the great Francis St.Clair Gregory.

Colin Joynson hands over the "Mat Magician who could make anyone look good" award to Marty Jones.

Nikki Monroe calls up Klondyke Kate to receive "The Innovation Award for the wrestler with the best gimmick".

The ever-popular "Master of a thousand holds" Johnny Saint steps up to receive "The Wrestlers' Wrestler award for the best technical wrestler" from Jackie Robinson.

Not a dry eye in the house as Barry Douglas receives "The Respect Award for the wrestler other wrestlers respect" from "Tarzan Boy" Darren.

Ray Robinson, currently fighting his own personal battle with illness, receives his richly-deserved "Hard As Nails Award" from Dick Harrison.

Cyril Knowles' daughter receives her father's "Lifetime Award for a man who devoted his life to wrestling" from Johnny Angel.


Now back to the 'round the tables' pictures.


1. Sean McNeill, "Jimmy Boy" Devlin.    2. Bob Sweeney, Les Prest.    3. "Tiny Tom Thumb", Dave Kaye.

1. Sabu (Gurdial Samrai).    2. Dick Harrison.    3. Tony Scarlo.    4. Pete Curry.

1. Johnny Angel, Richie Brooks.    2. Gordon Pryor, Al Tarzo.    3. Ray Robinson, Al Marshall.

General shots around the hall, during the drawing of the raffle.

The "Team Photograph":
Thanks to Alan ("Hack") from the Wrestling Heritage website for this alphabetical list of those present:

Ace Allcard, Johnny Angel, Bob Barratt, Dave Bedford, Richie Brooks, Derek Collins, John Cox, Derek Collins, Pete Curry, Tarzan Boy Darren, Jimmy Boy Devlin, Barry Douglas, Pete Evans, Steve Fury, Eddie Hamil, Toma Hansom, Dick Harrison, Dwight J Ingleburgh, Marty Jones, Colin Joynson, Klondyke Kate, Tony Kaye, Tony Kelly, John Kenny, Tracey Kilby, Johnny Kincaid, Rex Lane, Tiger McGuigan, Drew McDonald, Sean McNeill, Mad Monk, Al Marshall, Keith Martinelli, Mal Mason, Harry Monk, Nikki Monroe, Skull Murphy, Les Prest, Peter Preston, Little Prince, Gordon Pryor, Blackburn Roberts, Don Robinson, Jackie Robinson, Ray Robinson, Roy St Clair, Sabu, Johnny Saint, Tony Scarlo, Gil Singh, Johnny South, Julie Starr, Rex Strong, Bob Sweeney, Al Tarzo, Dave Taylor, Tiny Tom Thumb, Jackie Turpin, Tony "Banger" Walsh, Steve Walton.

Thanks to John White for the first four, and to Eddie Hamill for the last one, of these five pictures above

1. Rex Strong.    2. Jackie Turpin.    3. Sabu, Banger Walsh.

1. Johnny Kincaid, Sabu, Jackie Turpin, Banger Walsh.
2. Klondyke Kate, Sabu, Banger Walsh.

Any more photographs sent in will be gratefully received, and added to this page, with an acknowledgement to the photographer.
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